I’ve been looking forward to this week for a while now, when our country will usher in an African American president and change the landscape, widening the dreams for all children. I know tomorrow Mark and I will watch Martin Luther King historic speech , our yearly tradition, and reflect on the signficance of Dr. King’s dreams being closer and closer to fulfilled.

But today I also have a dream, and some disappointment that makes this time bittersweet.

This week, Mark and I learned that a young boy a few months older than Jafta is still in need of an adoptive family. We’ve known him for a long time through our agency in East LA, and he is a sweet boy who I desperately want to see in an adoptive home. He has been passed through 4 foster families this year. When I heard he still didn’t have a permanent home, I decided to call the social worker at the local agency we used. It’s the biggest foster family agency in Orange County, and they only accept Christian couples. I thought surely a phone call could help identify a few potential families.

I’m sorry“, I’m told. “We have no famliies right now who are open to an African American child“.

NO. FAMILIES.

I know adoption is not for everyone. I know transracial adoption is not for everyone. But in a large agency full of Christian couples ready to open their homes to a child . . .

not one couple checked “open to any race”???

I know I talk a lot about adoption, but this is not just an adoption issue. This is not something only transracially adoptive families should be bummed about. This should give all of us pause about the state of our nation, and the prejudices that still have a hold on us. Shouldn’t we all be unsettled that “the least of these” are being rejected based on the color of their skin?

In the words of Martin Luther King:

“Now is the time to make justice a reality for ALL of God’s children.

..I have a dream: that Black children waiting for families will be accepted into a loving home, without fear or prejudice, because they deserve a family as much as any other child on earth.I have a dream: that some day the troubling statistics about the number of minority children in foster care and group homes waiting for families, in comparison to the number of families waiting for Caucasian children, will become something we shudder at as a sad part of our nation’s history.

A Dream Deferred
by Langston Hughes

What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore– And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over– like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?